To prolong the life and reliability of your F150, it pays to be familiar enough with how your truck works. Being more aware about the little nuances of the F150 can also save you money. One example of this is how you can turn your trucks rotors to buy some time before you need to get them replaced… but can you do this on a Ford F150?
Can a Ford F150s rotors be turned instead of replaced? Yes, you can turn the rotors on a Ford F150, but the condition of the rotors will be the determining factor. You will need to replace them eventually, but they can often last longer than brake pads. It’s a professional job though.
The bottom line is that there’s a wide range of normal when it comes to the life expectancy of rotors. You might need new rotors on your F150 after 30,000 or could be lucky enough for that to be more like after 70,000 miles.
I am not a mechanic by any stretch but did want to keep my rotors in great shape without spending more money, and hopefully doing the turning and eventual replacements myself. If I couldn’t do it, I wanted to know how much it would cost to have the rotors turned professionally.
What follows is what I picked up from reading forum posts by guys who are much more mechanically minded than me.
When do you turn the rotors on your Ford F150?
When you start to hear your brake pads start to screech, it means they are getting worn out. Your Ford F150 is not safe for you or passengers once the brakes begin to fail. If you wait too long for service, you may need more expensive repairs.
But it could be that you go through several pairs of brake pads before you need new rotors… and turning your Ford F150 rotors can make this even more economic.
If you have both front and back brakes, they may not need service at the same time. Front brakes often go out before the back ones.
Be sure to have both front and both back serviced at the same time, however. Like your tires, it is essential to keep the worn areas evened out.
When the rotors become severely uneven or too thin, it is time to replace them. Severe damage may include uneven wear or deep grooves.
What does rotor turning involve exactly?
The term “turning” refers to the resurfacing of the rotors. The mechanic grinds the surface to make it smooth again. It is imperative to get the F150 rotors turned in pairs.
What do the rotors do on a Ford F150?
The rotors on your truck work with the brake pads to help you stop efficiently. The rotors are what your brake pads clamp down on to stop the vehicle. And, as you know, when any part of the brake system becomes worn out, you lessen the safety of your driving experience.
Over time, the rotors become worn down and may have uneven spots on them. This makes it difficult for the brake pads to adhere to the rotors properly.
If you feel you cannot get your car or truck to stop well or hear odd noises, get a mechanic to check the entire brake system.
How long should my F150’s rotors last?
The life expectancy of your rotors depends on several factors. Some people need a replacement after driving about 30,000 miles. Some F150 owners may go up to 70,000 miles or more.
City drivers can expect to put more wear on their brake system because they may use the brakes repeatedly in heavy traffic.
Your F150’s rotors may last longer if you drive more on the freeway or use toll roads to commute to work or school. Maintenance is also a key component to having long-lasting rotors. When you have them turned often, they wear more evenly.
Uneven wear can lead to severely damaged areas on your rotors. Resurfacing may not solve this problem. Once they get worn out and thin, the brake pads cannot grip them properly.
If you have a new truck, monitor your mileage along with the condition of your rotors. Once you get to know your Ford F150, you can better estimate how long your rotors may last.
You can start good habits right away to make sure your new truck remains in good condition:
- Visit the mechanic when you first hear squeaking or grinding noises.
- Check your brake fluid regularly.
- Check with your mechanic during each brake job to find out the condition of your rotors.
- Visit the mechanic immediately if you have trouble stopping efficiently.
Getting the rotors turned by a professional
When you take your F150 in for new brake pads, you can find out the condition of your rotors. Your mechanic should include this in the brake assessment and repair. Be sure to ask about the condition of your rotors, so you know when to get them rechecked.
If you have new brake pads but begin to have problems when braking, you may need to have your rotors checked, as well.
Always replace the rotors in pairs.
Many people learn to work on their own Ford F150. Even if you change your own brake pads, it is often best to have your F150’s rotors turned at a professional body shop.
The rotor turning process will need specialist equipment that most people do not have at home.
How much does it cost to have an F150’s rotors turned?
It may not cost as much as you might think. I was quite surprised when I called a couple of local truck mechanics with some quotes for turning my F150’s rotors.
From what I found; it can cost between $15 to $25 to get each rotor turned. So that could come in at a total cost of $60 to $100 to get all the rotors turned in one go.
When you should change your F150’s rotors
Your rotors can become damaged in more than one way. It is not unusual for them to get worn out or to warped over time. Both scenarios present with specific sounds. You won’t be able to ignore the noise easily that easily!
- It may sound like something is scraping near your tires if the rotors become severely worn down.
- If you begin to hear a squeaking sound when you stop the car, expect to find warped rotors.
- Many people also describe the sound as a grinding noise.
Sometimes these sounds start very subtly. As the damage progresses, the sounds increase in intensity.
Your F150 will be dangerous if you ignore the problem. Eventually, you lose the ability to stop efficiently. Even with early damage, you may notice that it takes you longer to reach a full stop. This can result in car accidents and injuries.
How to help make your F150 rotors last longer
Your driving habits play a part in how fast your rotors wear out. Many of these habits are out of your control.
- If you drive in stop-and-go traffic daily, your brakes take a lot of abuse.
- If you can take a tollway or highway to work instead, it may save you money on truck repairs.
- You can also remain conscious of your surroundings, so you do not need to make sudden stops. Stay far behind the person driving in front of you so you have plenty of time to stop. This allows you to treat your brakes gently.
Other than driving responsibly, it is necessary to get your Ford F150 to the mechanic when problems arise. If you drive daily and enjoy rough outings with your truck, simply maintain your brakes properly.
Also make sure you check the brake fluid regularly.
A brake fluid leak can also cause problems with your braking ability. If you have problems with your brakes, look for signs that your brake fluid is low. Often, the ABS (ant-lock brake system light) on.
You can also lift your hood and check the reservoir. If you find that your break fluid is low or completely gone, you mechanic can check for a leak.
When it is time to add brake fluid, you must have the old fluid removed first. You can have your mechanic flush the system when you get your brake pads or rotors replaced.
Your F150’s rotors are only part of your brake system. Even if you do not know how to work on your truck, you can remain vigilant about repairs. Take notice of odd sounds and changes in your day to day driving. This helps make you aware of potential dangers.
You can save some money on repairs by having your brake pads changed immediately when you hear noise. This can help limit wear on your rotors, allowing them to last longer. As with all cars, have your Ford F150 serviced by a mechanic on a regular basis.